ALLEN, Benjamin (1731-91), of Bridgewater, Som.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1754-1790, ed. L. Namier, J. Brooke., 1964
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1768 - 2 Mar. 1781

Family and Education

b. ?1731, 2nd s. of John Allen, M.D., F.R.S., of Bridgwater.1 educ. Bridgwater. Sidney Suss. Camb. 4 June 1751, aged 19; M. Temple 1749, called 1754. m. in or bef. 1760; at least 1s.2

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Allen took advantage of his local connexions to cultivate an interest at Bridgwater. He became a member of the corporation, and in 1768 contested the borough against the powerful Poulett interest. In Parliament Allen voted regularly with Opposition. His only reported speech was on East India affairs, 24 Mar. 1773. In 1774 he was returned unopposed. The Public Ledger wrote of him in 1779: ‘Seems to be a fair, well-meaning man. Votes on each side conformably to his opinion, but generally in opposition.’  Charles James Fox wrote to John Chubb, of Bridgwater, 8 Apr. 1780:3‘I think it my duty to let you know that Mr. Allen has attended and supported the cause of the people with the most unremitting diligence.’ In 1780 Allen and Fox jointly contested the borough. He, though not Fox, was returned, but was unseated on petition. Allen continued his activities on the Bridgwater corporation, and, in spite of a quarrel with Fox and his Bridgwater friends in 1785, seems to have maintained an interest in the borough, continued by his son Jefferys Allen who was returned there in 1796.

Allen died before 1792,4 and may be the Benjamin Allen whose death in Jamaica in October 1791 is reported by the Gentleman’s Magazine.

Ref Volumes: 1754-1790

Author: Mary M. Drummond


  • 1. About him see DNB.
  • 2. Jeffreys Allen adm. Pembroke, Camb., 20 Nov. 1778, aged 18.
  • 3. T. B. Dilks, C. J. Fox and Bridgwater, 13.
  • 4. Oldfield, Boroughs (1792), ii. 547, mentions ‘the late Mr. Allen’.